Louise Bernard, edited by Ugo Pascolo
11:48 a.m., June 24, 2022
The weekly Point is in turmoil after the publication on its site of an article implicating the couple of deputies LFI Raquel Garrido and Alexis Corbière, finally withdrawn Thursday for “errors and breaches”. Shortly after the publication of this article on Wednesday, which accused them of having exploited an undocumented cleaning lady, Raquel Garrido and Alexis Corbière had firmly denied: “Everything is false”, they had protested.
A deleted article and an official apology
Very rare fact, the article was finally withdrawn on Thursday. “The additional checks that we have carried out have revealed to us that errors and breaches of caution have been made”, acknowledged the director of the Point, Etienne Gernelle, in a message published on Twitter and the magazine’s website. “We offer our flat and sincere apologies to Raquel Garrido and Alexis Corbière, as well as to our readers”, he added, indicating that an internal investigation was being carried out “to understand what happened”.
— Etienne Gernelle (@gernelle) June 23, 2022
Insufficient in the eyes of the couple of deputies on the left. “I demand the immediate dismissal” of the journalist author of the article, Aziz Zemouri, tweeted Raquel Garrido. “I will not stop there. (…) My family has suffered too much. The damage caused is indelible”. Her husband also believes that “sanctions must be pronounced”: “It is the honor of the profession (of journalism, editor’s note) that is at stake and the confidence that citizens place in the press”, judged Alexis Corbière, also on Twitter. The article claimed in particular that the Garrido-Corbière couple exploited an Algerian housekeeper without papers whom they had not declared.
Of which act. I demand the immediate dismissal of@azizzemouri1.
I will not stop there. I do not forgive that he took it out on our children. My family has suffered too much. The harm done is indelible.
I thank the citizens and journalists who helped to dismantle the slander. https://t.co/N1DQawsG94
— Raquel Garrido (@RaquelGarridoFr) June 23, 2022
Two complaints in preparation
The couple’s lawyer, Me Xavier Sauvignet, also indicated that he was preparing two complaints, one for public defamation and another against X for forgery and use of forgery and identity theft. As soon as it was published, the article was massively taken up on social networks by political opponents of the couple of Nupes-LFI deputies. In a context of still massive mistrust of the public towards the press, this affair is damaging to the image of the weekly.
“The entire editorial staff is deeply affected by the breach of the basic rules of journalistic ethics”, reacted the Society of Editors (SDR) of the Point in a press release. This body, which represents journalists on questions of ethics, says it is “fundamentally attached to the necessary verification of all information before publication, and cannot tolerate that the reputation of the newspaper be tarnished by individual shortcomings”.
“I am convinced of the veracity of the facts. Afterwards, I hope to be able to demonstrate even more, but I am sure and certain of my info”, retorted, Aziz Zemouri, the author of the article. Asked about the terms “errors” and “failures” used by the management of the Point, he replied: “It is the opinion of the management, it is not mine.”
In two articles posted online Thursday, the Mediapart investigation site and the Liberation information verification service, CheckNews, contradicted the assertions of that of Le Point.
Powerful article from @Mediapart by @davidperrotin which restores the truth, and incidentally the honor of all my humiliated family for 24 hours.
The violence of the calumny was unheard of.
Now we want to understand and we won’t let go.https://t.co/eEN0xoH7w5
— Alexis Corbiere (@alexiscorbiere) June 23, 2022
On Wednesday, Aziz Zemouri, posted on Twitter screenshots of the alleged text messages on which he says he relied. But the authenticity of these screenshots has been questioned by digital specialists, including Télérama journalist Olivier Tesquet. In June 2021, Le Point and Aziz Zemouri were sentenced for defamation after an article by the latter. He called former “call girl” actress Sand Van Roy, who accused filmmaker Luc Besson of rape and sexual assault.